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Oracle Amends Itanium Countersuit

HP claims the agreement includes a contractual stipulation binding Oracle to support HP’s Itanium machines with its software

Last Friday Oracle amended its countersuit against HP over their Itanium flap claiming it was tricked into settling the suit HP filed over ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd joining Oracle a month after he was ousted from HP.

Oracle wants the agreement canceled.

HP claims the agreement includes a contractual stipulation binding Oracle to support HP's Itanium machines with its software, which is what the ruckus is all about.

Oracle claims it would never have come to terms over Hurd - let alone sign a partnership agreement unrelated to Hurd - if it knew HP was going to hire Oracle antagonists Léo Apotheker as CEO and make Ray Lane its chairman.

Oracle, which announced in March that it would no longer write software for the Itanium, said again that HP is paying Intel to keep the Itanium chip alive - out to the end of decade, by the way, from the known roadmap - so it can keep its profitable support and service arrangements going and is deceiving the public about the future of the chip.

The best bits and evidence in the suit about the alleged Intel-HP "Itanium Collaboration Agreement" have been redacted.

HP claims Oracle is merely trying to distract from the fact that it's in breach of contract.

Oracle says the hook HP is trying to hang a "contract" on is wobbly.

HP wanted the agreement to say "Oracle will continue to support all ongoing versions of HP-UX with Oracle's relevant database, middleware and application products with the availability, marketing and pricing in competitive terms that Oracle has provided HP for the past five years. Oracle will continue to provide access to the Java technology and tools such that HP can continue to support its operating systems (e.g., HP-UX, OpenVMS, Nonstop) in a manner similar to the way it does today. Oracle agrees to continue to provide Solaris for HP's x86 platforms in a manner similar to what it provides HP today. Oracle agrees to continue to purchase HP server hardware for internal use at a rate similar to what Oracle purchases today."

Oracle says it rejected that language and that the words Itanium or HP-UX don't appear in the last revision of the settlement.

All it's supposed to say is something like "Oracle and HP reaffirm their commitment to their longstanding strategic relationship and their mutual desire to continue to support their mutual customers. Oracle will continue to offer its product suite on HP platforms and HP will continue to support Oracle products (including Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM) on its hardware in a manner consistent with that partnership."

HP apparently got an e-mail from Oracle's general counsel saying that this provision was "an agreement to continue to work together as the companies have - with Oracle porting products to HP's platform and HP supporting the ported products and the parties engaging in joint marketing opportunities - for the mutual benefit of customers."

Two weeks ago HP, devastated by Oracle pulling out, came up with a plan to migrate Itanium users to x86 servers if they want, which is what Oracle has maintained it should be doing, although HP claims Oracle is trying to force Integrity users to its Sun machines.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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